From episode 1 of The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window, Hiyakawa has been a pretty sketchy guy. His blatant advances toward Mikado and possessive personality certainly put some viewers off before the story even got rolling and while other viewers tolerated his antics in the hope that he would grow over time, by episode 9 I’m now wondering if all along Hiyakawa has actually been the only character we should be wary of with Erika and Sensei just being red-herrings.
Though potentially everything here is just setting up an opportunity for Mikado to ‘save’ Hiyakawa from himself but really it is hard at this point to imagine Hiyakawa as anything other than a walking hazard.
The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window is really tipping the balance between character who needs redemption and character beyond redemption.
Episode 9 opens with Erika, her bodyguard Sakaki, and her mother being caught in the office by Sensei. Fortunately after they all kind of freeze in terror at the mere sight of Sensei, who has been built up over most of the series as some ultimate big-bad, Erika’s mother neutralises him with a taser allowing her and Erika to have a touching mother-daughter moment (even if it is all a bit too late) and for Erika and Sakaki to flee.
There’s a lot of undermining the image of Sensei in this episode. As I said, The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window had left him this mysterious and untouchable figure. Almost the equivalent of ‘he who should not be named’ prior to actually meeting him and what most of these sorts of characters have in common is that the less they appear and the less we know about them the more interesting and potentially threatening they are.
Here Sensei is so easily thwarted with Erika simply leaving and the next we see him he’s just sitting on his stoop before he gets into a discussion with Hiyakawa. The arrival of Mikado sets off something and Sensei just kind of falls apart. Maybe he’s still got something left to give in this story but really he’s significantly less interesting after this episode.
Meanwhile, Erika tries to stand up all big and strong but then proceeds to do nothing for the rest of the episode.
Instead of capitalising on Erika’s newfound freedom, The Night Beyond The Tricornered Window spends a lot of the rest of the episode with Mikado trying to connect emotionally with Hiyakawa and Hiyakawa pushing him away. Quite literally pushing him away. Through a starry triangle window and into the house you can’t leave in point of fact.
While both Keita and Hanzawa appear for a brief online chat between the group they really serve no purpose. And with Mikado and Hiyakawa not effectively communicating it really leaves the episodes feeling disjointed.
I think what really makes this episode of The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window not work is that it is hard to imagine what outcome the characters are actually hoping for from everything that is going on. Sensei’s character was never clarified, Mikado’s sudden attachment to Hiyakawa still makes little sense and so his devotion to helping him even when he’s clearly going the wrong way seems bizarre, Erika gets side-lined, Keita has no purpose in this grander story and barely appears, and that more or less leaves us with Hiyakawa who for whatever reason has convinced himself he needs to get something he left in his old house back.
The why never really comes in to it.
All and all, while I’m still kind of curious, The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window seems to be fizzling and what little potential the story had seems to be remaining unrealised as we slide into the final episodes. That said, I’m not upset I watched this as I’ve been kept intrigued enough. It’s just that without things really coming together for a strong finish it doesn’t seem like the kind of show you could recommend or rewatch.
Though, they are bringing all the plot threads together, it just isn’t really building to something better. It just kind of seems like a ball of confusing plot threads that someone is forcing to fit together in order to bring The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window to a close.
Images from: The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window. Dir. D Iwanaga. Zero-G. 2021.
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